Korean Air to introduce Boeing 787-10 for first time in Korea

June 22, 2019 | 15:23
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Korean Air, South Korea’s flagship carrier, has announced that it will introduce 20 Boeing 787-10s, the largest member of the Dreamliner family, for the first time in Korea, and add 10 more 787-9s to its existing fleet.
korean air to introduce boeing 787 10 for first time in korea
Korean Air and Boeing leaders at the MoU signing ceremony

Korean Air signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on June 18 to purchase 30 Boeing wide-body aircraft at Le Bourget Airport, where the 2019 Paris Air Show is currently being held. Present at the signing ceremony were Walter Cho, chairman and CEO of Korean Air; Kevin McAllister, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Ihssane Mounir, senior Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing of The Boeing Company; and John L. Plueger, CEO and president of Aircraft Leasing Corporation.

The decision reflects Korean Air’s continuous efforts to modernise the fleet, and the new 787 aeroplanes will replace its existing aeroplanes, such as A330s, B777s, and B747s.

The 68 metres long 787-10 is 5 metres longer than 787-9 aeroplanes. As the largest version of the 787 family, the 787-10 offers around 15 per cent more space for passengers and cargo than the 787-9. The aeroplane can accommodate up to 330 passengers, 40 more than the 787-9, and the cargo space is 20 cubic metres. With unparalleled fuel efficiency, the 787-10 allows operators to achieve 25 per cent better fuel efficiency per seat compared to the previous aeroplanes.

As the 787-10 covers a maximum distance of 11,910km, which is around 2,200km shorter than the 787-9, Korean Air plans to optimise its fleet operations by employing 787-10 for mid-haul and 787-9 for long-haul routes. The Boeing 787-10 is one of the newest aircraft in the aviation industry and only a few carriers currently have it in operation: Singapore Airlines, Etihad, United Airlines, and All Nippon Airways. Upon the signing of the MOU, Korean Air will introduce the first 787-10 in 2021 and continue efforts to modernise its fleet, maintain its outstanding customer service, and ensure operational efficiency.

Currently, since the first delivery in 2017, Korean Air has 10 787-9s. With the MoU including 10 additional 787-9s, the airline will have 20 787-10s and 787-9s, quadrupling its 787 Dreamliner family. “As we continue to innovate our products, the 787 Dreamliner family will become the backbone of our mid- and long-haul fleet for many years to come,” said Walter Cho, Korean Air’s chairman.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner offers unrivalled comfort to passengers. While most airliners have cabin air pressure equivalent to that of an altitude of 8,000 feet, Boeing cut that down to 6,000 feet for the Dreamliner and increased the air pressure inside the cabin, improving the passenger experience. Passengers can also enjoy humidity which is 5 per cent higher than other aeroplanes on average.

The Dreamliner also integrates advanced technologies and revolutionary design for outstanding performance. More than half of the airframe is made of carbon composite materials, which improves structural performance with less weight, increases fuel efficiency, and reduces gas emissions as well as noise during take-off and landing.

Currently, on each Boeing 787-9 plane, Korean Air offers a total of 269 seats, including six First Class, 18 Prestige, and 245 Economy.

As a key Boeing partner, Korean Air also supplies core parts on Boeing’s 787 programme, such as the raked wing-tips – a critical part of the wing to reduce air resistance – and also the aft fuselage section of the aeroplane.

Korean Air currently operates flights from Incheon to Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi 21 times a week, and flights to Danang and Nha Trang 14 and seven times a week, respectively.

Korean Air, established in 1969, is one of the world's top 20 airlines carrying more than 26 million passengers in 2018. The airline operates over 460 flights per day to 126 cities in 44 countries on five continents; it has a modern fleet of 168 aircraft and employs over 20,000 professional employees. Korean Air’s core business includes passenger, cargo, aerospace, catering, and in-flight sales. The airline's main hub is at the Incheon (ICN) International Airport Terminal 2 which opened in 2018.

Korean Air is a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, which together with its 19 members annually welcomes 630 million passengers worldwide, on more than 14,500 daily flights, covering 1,150 destinations in 175 countries. The airline launched a joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines in the trans-Pacific market in May 2018.

In 2019 Korean Air celebrates its 50th anniversary. With a vision to be a respected leader in the world airline community, Korean Air is dedicated to providing excellence in flight.

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